Harlington Upper School
Catchment Area, Reviews and Key Information

Secondary
Post 16
School Guide Rating
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Goswell End Road
Harlington
Dunstable
LU5 6NX
01525755100
Pupils
1183
Ages
13 - 18
Gender
Mixed
Type
Academy converter
4 1 1 2 3 4
NATIONAL AVG. 2.08
Ofsted Inspection
(15/3/18)
Full Report - All Reports
70%
NATIONAL AVG. 60%
5+ GCSEs grade 9-4 (standard pass or above) including English and maths
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School Description

The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. You and your senior team have created a culture of high expectations that every pupil, regardless of their background or circumstances, can succeed. You have ensured that these aspirations have been translated into strong achievement. Outcomes have improved since the last inspection. The overall progress that pupils make at key stage 4 has, on average, been consistently in line with, or better than, the progress made by pupils nationally. In 2017, pupils made progress which was in line with the national average, whether they joined the school with below-average, average or above-average attainment. Students make similarly strong overall progress in the sixth form. Pupils typically behave well around the carefully maintained school site. The large majority move purposefully and swiftly to lessons and arrive ready to learn. They mix easily and sociably at lunchtime, making sensible use of the school’s central concourse. Older pupils usually set a good example to their younger peers. Lessons are purposeful and productive. Relationships within the classroom are overwhelmingly positive and pupils work hard. Pupils appreciate the rewards and recognition that they can achieve for progress and contributions to the school community, and the leadership roles available to them. They do say that they would appreciate an even greater number of extra-curricular opportunities. The previous inspection report asked the school to improve the overall quality of teaching, particularly in regard to stretching the most able pupils. The school has been successful in this, and the amount of progress pupils make, including that made by high prior-attaining pupils, has improved markedly as a result. In 2017, your most able pupils were the highest-performing ability group at key stage 4. The last inspection challenged the school to develop pupils’ learning skills. The school has worked hard to strengthen pupils’ resilience in their learning and to ensure that pupils understand their personal strengths and weaknesses as learners. In doing so, the school has helped pupils to live up to the school’s longstanding motto: ‘Know thyself’. The previous inspection report also challenged the school to strengthen the leadership of subject departments. The school has done this effectively. Subject leaders are now much more centrally involved in evaluating standards within their own departments and drawing up plans for improvement. They meet regularly with a member of the senior team, who provides appropriate challenge and support. They have received relevant, focused training. New subject leaders are routinely paired with a more experienced colleague to support them. Subject leaders feel trusted as experts in their subject area. This strengthened subject leadership has contributed to the improving academic standards across the school. School leaders acknowledge that there is a good deal more to do to improve the school further if it is to move towards becoming outstanding. They have developed effective systems for tracking pupils’ progress. This enables them to track carefully the progress of groups who have not performed as strongly in the past, such as pupils who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities. Members of the governing body are expert and experienced in understanding this performance information. This enables them to undertake regular and insightful discussions about standards with school leaders. School leaders and governors are particularly conscious of the ongoing need to strengthen systems for promoting positive behaviour so that improvements in attendance accelerate and the number of permanently excluded pupils falls. Safeguarding is effective. Leaders, including governors, have successfully focused on ensuring the safety and well-being of pupils, and this has contributed to the creation of a vigilant culture of safeguarding. The leadership team has ensured that all safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose and records are detailed and of high quality. They have had relevant safeguarding training, which is regularly updated. Staff make referrals to external agencies that are timely and appropriate. Staff follow up any concerns methodically. Information is shared effectively with parents and carers when it is appropriate, and constructive working relationships with other agencies help to keep pupils safe. A very large majority of pupils and parents say that pupils feel very safe at the school. Opportunities for developing pupils’ understanding of how to stay safe are successfully threaded throughout the curriculum. These are found in assemblies, tutorial periods and subject lessons across the school. This includes helping pupils to deal with any risks that they may routinely face, including the use of the internet and social networking sites. The school deals quickly and decisively with any poor behaviour which does occur, including bullying. Inspection findings My first line of enquiry was to investigate the extent to which the school is ensuring effectively that strong overall progress is reflected in the progress made by the most vulnerable pupils in the school. In 2017, disadvantaged pupils and pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities made progress which was markedly below that of their peers. The school has introduced and embedded a range of effective strategies for accelerating the progress of disadvantaged pupils. For example, the school’s distinctive ‘FAB’ strategy (feedback, adaptation, books) ensures that teachers prioritise the learning of disadvantaged pupils in their classroom whenever they explain misconceptions, plan tasks or mark work. The 2017 results do not fairly reflect the achievements of disadvantaged pupils. Most pupils within this group achieved well. The school’s assessment information about pupils currently in the school shows that disadvantaged pupils are making very rapid progress throughout the school. Evidence from this inspection supports this. Pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities are also now making stronger progress. However, school leaders accept that teachers’ thorough knowledge about the individual needs of these pupils is not being translated into practical classroom strategies as consistently as it is for disadvantaged pupils. The leadership of this area has recently changed, and a range of developments have been made as a result. The full impact of these plans is yet to be seen across the school and there has not been sufficient time to evaluate fully the relative effectiveness of these developments. My second line of enquiry was to investigate how successfully the school is working to ensure that the progress pupils make in all subjects is as strong as the progress they make in the highest-performing subject areas. In 2017, progress in both English and mathematics was significantly above the national averages for those subjects. However, the overall performance of pupils in the English Baccalaureate and open elements of the school’s published performance information was not as strong. A closer analysis of this 2017 performance information shows that, in reality, individual subjects within these elements performed well. Pupils in science, humanities and modern foreign languages all made progress which was above the national average. This was mirrored in the performance of a large majority of other GCSE courses. School leaders have now changed the way pupils choose courses for their key stage 4 curriculum, and this now encourages more pupils to take a greater number of high-value academic subjects. School leaders were able to explain a range of strategies which have been put in place to promote even greater consistency in outcomes across all subjects. Evidence from this inspection supports the evaluation that these are having a positive impact.

Harlington Upper School Catchment Area Map

This pupil heat map shows where pupils currently attending the school live.

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Source:
All attending pupils
National School Census Data 2020
ONS
Pupil heat map key

How many pupils attending the school live in the area?

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The concentration of pupils shows likelihood of admission based on distance criteria

0300 300 8037

This School Guide heat map has been plotted using official pupil data taken from the last School Census collected by the Department for Education. It is a visualisation of where pupils lived at the time of the annual School Census.

Our heat maps use groups of postcodes, not individual postcodes, and have naturally soft edges. All pupils are included in the mapping (i.e. children with siblings already at the school, high priority pupils and selective and/or religious admissions) but we may have removed statistical ‘outliers’ with more remote postcodes that do not reflect majority admissions.

For some schools, the heat map may be a useful indicator of the catchment area but our heat maps are not the same as catchment area maps. Catchment area maps, published by the school or local authority, are based on geographical admissions criteria and show actual cut-off distances and pre-defined catchment areas for a single admission year.

This information is provided as a guide only. The areas from which pupils are admitted to a school can change from year to year to reflect the number of siblings and pupils admitted under high priority admissions criteria.

3 steps to help parents gather catchment information for a school:

  1. Look at our school catchment area guide for more information on heat maps. They give a useful indicator of the general areas that admit pupils to the school. This visualisation is based on all attending pupils present at the time of the annual School Census.
  2. Use the link to the Local Authority Contact (above) to find catchment area information based on a single admission year. This is very important if you are considering applying to a school.
  3. On each school page, use the link to visit the school website and find information on individual school admissions criteria. Geographical criteria are only applied after pupils have been admitted on higher priority criteria such as Looked After Children, SEN, siblings, etc.

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